The Kansas Department of Health and Environment spent the last two weeks trying to convince Kansans that their manipulated data proved mask mandates (not masks, mind you, but mask mandates) were causing daily cases to decline.  Today, KDHE data published today shows that counties with mandates hit their highest case level since the mandate was implemented.

The 16 counties that affirmed Governor Kelly’s mandate increased from 16.2 average cases per 100,000 population on August 10 to 20.4 cases on August 17.  The other 89 counties that rejected the mandate went up from 10.4 cases to 11 cases at the same time.  The previous high mark for counties with mandates was 20.2 cases.

The data used to create the chart above comes from KDHE’s reports published each Monday. The average daily COVID cases per 100,000 population is calculated by dividing the weekly change by seven for both groups of counties.  The chart published by KDHE was based on daily data they said they gathered from a Centers for Disease Control website, but the numbers are very similar.  For example, the chart above and the one produced by KDHE both show the mandate counties with an average of 15.9 cases on August 3; the counties that rejected the mandate have 8.9 cases on this chart and 9.1 cases on the KDHE chart.

Other COVID updates

KDHE reported 3,437 new COVID cases last week; that’s the highest weekly total since the pandemic began.  The severity of cases, however, continues to decline.  The mortality rate (deaths divided by total confirmed cases) set a new low of 1.15%, as did the hospitalization rate, which fell to 5.79%.

About 46% of the last week’s new cases were in Johnson and Sedgwick counties.  Johnson County affirmed the Governor’s mask mandate; the Sedgwick County commission rejected the mandate but Democratic Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple rammed the mandate through City Council.

There were no new cases last week in 21 counties, and five or fewer new cases were reported in another 34 counties.

Officially, 1.2% of Kansans are confirmed to have been infected with COVID at some point, but the range varies significantly across the state.  Ford County has the highest infection rate, at 6.6%, followed by Seward County at 5.6% and Finney County at 4.8%.  There are 49 counties with an infection rate below 0.5% and another 34 counties with rates between 0.5% and 1%.

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